After completing a review of the first 20 days of the proposed 2020 private angler red snapper season, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) anticipates the quota for the private angler red snapper season will be met on Friday, July 3, 2020. Therefore, Alabama waters will close to private angler and state-licensed charter red snapper fishing effective at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 3, 2020.
As of June 22, 2020, landing estimates show that anglers from private and state-licensed charter vessels have landed approximately 842,000 pounds of the 1.1 million-pound Alabama red snapper quota.
“Other than the weekend of Tropical Storm Cristobal, we have had great weather in coastal Alabama which provided almost ideal fishing conditions,” said Scott Bannon, Director of ADCNR’s Marine Resources Division. “We develop the season dates based on historical weather information and fishing effort, both of which can be unpredictable once the season begins. The number of vessel trips during the past two seasons averaged 527 trips per day. So far during the 2020 season, the average has been 822 vessel trips per day. When there are more people fishing we reach the quota sooner.”
Detailed red snapper landing information from the 2018 – 2020 seasons is available at https://www.outdooralabama.com/2020-red-snapper-landings-summary.
“I have fished most weekends of the season and it has been good to see so many people out enjoying this fishery,” said Chris Blankenship, ADCNR Commissioner. “I am disappointed that we will not be able to harvest red snapper during the full Fourth of July weekend or during the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo. Like many, my family had plans to do both. However, the red snapper management plan sets the red snapper quota allocated to Alabama, as well as the other Gulf states. We are required under the management plan to adjust to changes in the recreational fishery to ensure we do not exceed our quota. We will continue to work to make improvements in the federal stock assessment process for red snapper that we hope will increase the quota for future years.”
Anglers are reminded that the federal charter season for red snapper is open seven days a week until 12:01 a.m. on August 2, 2020. The federally permitted charter vessels are not under state management, any season adjustments for charter vessels will be made by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The federal waters off Alabama, outside 9 miles, will be open to anglers landing red snapper in other states that have open red snapper seasons. The possession of red snapper, in Alabama waters, is prohibited during the closed recreational season.